Late last year, I picked up A Bottle of Storm Clouds: Stories and liked it so much that I knew it wouldn’t be the last time I would read Eliza Victoria’s works – she is such a talented and imaginative writer, judging from the way she wrote the stories that comprise Storm Clouds. And so when I won a signed(!) copy of her other compendium, Unseen Moon, from another book blogger’s giveaway, I was ecstatic.
Unseen Moon is made up of four short stories and a novella, The Viewless Dark, which is also separately available in digital format. After Storm Clouds, I more or less knew what to expect from this collection, and had been, in fact, looking forward to it – eerie things, creepy stuff, strange occurrences and frightening incidents. While I was prepared to be scared out of my wits, thanks to the feedback from book club friends, I was still, well, scared out of my wits. I was also alternately horrified, annoyed, and bothered, but mainly, I just remember closing my eyes and rubbing my arms, feeling goosebumps all over as I read the book.
Of the five stories that are included in this collection – Needle Rain, The Ghosts of Sinagtala, Summer Evening, December, and The Viewless Dark – my favorites would have to be The Ghosts of Sinagtala and The Viewless Dark.
The Ghosts of Sinagtala was spine-chillingly scary, I still shudder when I try to imagine particular scenes described in it. This is the story of orphaned siblings Ben and Emma, who travel all the way from the city to the province to check out an old mansion that was passed down to them from their ancestors. The mansion is called – you guessed it – Sinagtala. It is huge, it is spooky, and it has a dark and sinister history that dates from the last two centuries that come unfurling when Ben and Emma arrive for their (short and abbreviated) visit. Just thinking about the story gives me goose pimples from head to toe. That was one helluva ghost story.
The Viewless Dark was no less eerie or dark; on the contrary, because it explores satanism and the occult, I felt that it was the strangest, most disturbing and most fascinating story in the collection. It tells of Anthony and his best friend Flo, who avidly follow a series of bizarre events in the campus – Flo, who was genuinely fixated on them, was in the lead. This fixation compels them to involve themselves in whatever appears to be the moving force behind these events, which proves to be unnecessary and unwise when Flo ends up dead, and Anthony is left to his own devices.
As with the all stories in Storm Clouds, those in Unseen Moon are well-crafted. I was engaged from the first page all the way up to the last. Yes, I will admit that I had to stop reading at certain points because I’m a big scaredy-cat, but I loved the stories anyway. ;)
Book Details: Trade paperback, signed copy won from Chris' giveaway :)